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Richard Barrett-Cuetara is a trial attorney who has represented clients in litigation, arbitration, adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court, and mediation involving complex commercial disputes in the real estate and hospitality industries. His ability to understand and resolve complex commercial real estate disputes is based on his prior experience as a real estate financial analyst, asset manager, loan underwriter and commercial real estate appraiser for a prominent international life insurance company. This experience gives him insight into high-profile mixed-use developments, including Class “A” office buildings, retail, hotels, and fitness facilities.

He represents hotel owners, real estate developers, commercial borrowers, property management companies, office and retail ownership groups, commercial tenants, and franchisors and franchisees in litigation involving claims such as fraudulent transfers, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, disgorgement, accounting, mismanagement, lender liability and hotel occupancy tax issues. Additionally, Rick represents and defends landlords and tenants in complex office and retail lease disputes involving CAM charges, operating expense audits and general defaults under office and retail leases. He also represents commercial and residential real estate brokers and agents in professional liability disputes.

Rick has obtained jury trial and bench trial verdicts in cases involving ad valorem taxes, the division of commercial shopping centers, and hotel partnership disputes.

Representative Experience

Jury trial verdict in Ad Valorem Tax Litigation dispute against Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) involving denial of tax exemption to non-profit entity.

Jury trial verdict resulting in six figure award, and attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of client regarding enforcement of two post-separation agreements (Separation, Release and Restructuring Agreement and Contribution and Indemnification Agreement) that related to the division of commercial shopping centers, the transfer of general partner interests, and liability of the managing general partner for committing “Bad Boy Guarantor” acts under the Indemnification Agreement. Defendant was found liable for not indemnifying and reimbursing the Plaintiff for payment of ad valorem taxes to the lender.

$2M bench trial verdict in partnership hotel dispute against co-partners involving claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, mismanagement and for an accounting.

Represented partner in fraudulent transfer claim related to hotel fraud case resulting in six figure settlement.

$27M complex arbitration proceeding relating to division of 6 hotels branded by three international hotel companies involving claims against co-partners for breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting, and mismanagement. The dispute settled.

Settled $22 million commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loan dispute as Special Litigation Counsel for hotel client in an Adversary Proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The client owned an upscale, full-service luxury hotel branded with a world-wide leader in the hotel industry. The client exercised its right under the loan agreement to “re-brand” the hotel. However, the Master Servicer and Special Servicer of the CMBS loan allegedly failed to grant borrower’s unfettered right to “re-brand” the hotel in a timely manner. The hotel client sued the CMBS lender, Master Servicer, and Special Servicer. Borrower asserted damage claim of diminution in value to the hotel. The case settled and the CMBS lender waived default interest, attorneys’ fees and other monetary claims. Borrower re-negotiated interest rate, maturity date and other issues favorable to borrower.

Lead counsel in non-profit tax exemption case: petition for review denied

Dallas Central Appraisal District v. Friends of the Military d/b/a Vet to Vet, 304 S.W. 3d 556 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2009)

Trial team for officer and director indemnification and contribution dispute.

Chamison v. HealthTrust, Inc. – The Hospital Company, 748 A.2d 407 (Del. 2000)

Represented owner against a family member alleging a partnership interest in a $7M apartment complex.

Representation of landlords and tenants in retail developments, Class “A” Office Buildings, and Class “A” Office, Retail and Loft Developments involving complex lease disputes regarding CAM charges, operating expense audits and general defaults under retail and office leases.

Complex business and partnership disputes involving claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, disgorgement, accounting, receivership, and mismanagement issues.

Challenged constitutionality of municipal hotel ordinance, actions of hotel inspectors, city manager and law enforcement personnel. Resulted in new hotel ordinance being enacted.

Closed a $60M acquisition of four mid-tiered hotels in Texas that were converted to "select-service" hotels and franchised with an international hotel company.

Negotiated hotel and office building leases.

Negotiated operational matters for retail property management firms, asset managers, and hotel operators.

Professional Recognition

America's Most Honored Professionals

Top 1% American Registry

Martindale-Hubbell

AV Preeminent Rating

Hospitalitylawyer.com

Attorney of the Week

Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Listed as a 'Mover & Shaker' in Diversity & the Bar

Related Services

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Education, Admissions & Activities

Education

California Western School of Law

J.D.
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International, Vice-Justice
Professional Responsibility Committee Chair

University of Miami School of Law

Masters of Law
Taxation

San Diego State University

B.S.
with Honors and Distinctions

Bar Admissions

Texas

1983

Court Admissions

United States District Court of Texas: Northern, Eastern

United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas

United States Tax Court

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Professional and Community Activities

State Bar of Texas

Litigation and Real Estate Sections; Texas Minority Counsel Program Steering Committee, 2010-2012

Dallas Bar Association

Litigation and Real Estate Sections

Southwest Jewish Congress, Dallas

Board Member, 2009-present

Dallas Hispanic Bar Association

Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

Hospitality Law Conference

Advisory Panel, Moderator and Host, 2001-2017

Global Alliance of Hospitality Attorneys

American Bar Association

Real Estate, Condemnation, and Trust Litigation Committee, 2013-present